The Wolverine

May 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MICHIGAN IN THE PROS sas City Royals' starting second base- man this year. Even manager Ned Yost told the Kansas City Star that when the Royals opened camp in mid-February he saw "no way" that Getz would even make the team. There was Getz, though, starting at second base when the Royals opened the season with a 6-3 win at the Los Angeles Angels. He doubled and scored a run in the opener; notched a 3-for-5, two-RBI game in a 13-7 loss to Cleveland April 15; and was bat- ting .292 with a double, a triple and three RBI as of April 16. Getz credited a new batting stance the Star. "From day one in batting practice, the ball is coming off the bat better. I'm not trying to be a power hitter. The idea is for the ball to come off the bat harder. "What happens from that is more hits and less reaction time for de- fenders. The corner guys have to re- spect the bunt, and that opens up the field for me to swing and try to put it past them. Then if they play back, I can lay down the bunt. It just opens up the field." It's unconventional in looks but with his improved performance throughout the spring and in the 2012 season's early going. "I feel more comfortable," he told has undeniably made a difference, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer said, not- ing, "it's made a huge impact on the way he's swinging the bat." Getz borrowed the stance from Se- attle's Dustin Ackley after seeing the smaller Ackley drive the ball during one series last year. "We've battled for two years on a Getz doubled and scored a run in the season opener, and he was batting .292 with a double, a triple and three RBI through April 16. conventional swing," Seitzer said, "and he's just had a hard time with it. He's been unable to generate power. It's been hard for his timing. "Not that he's ever going to be a messing up the routine play," Yost said. "The spectacular play is nice — it's spectacular — but very seldom does that win you a game. You win games by making the routine plays and not messing up the routine plays. "When I came into spring training "That's how you lose games — by PHOTO COURTESY KANSAS CITY ROYALS stacles in front of me. I envisioned coming in early and making an im- pression early. I've been rewarded by getting a spot on the team." The NBA power hitter, but he can drive the ball into the stinking gap and hit doubles and triples with what he's working with right now. It's been pretty excit- ing for me to see." Getz only had one extra base hit in 41 at-bats during the spring, but Yost could see a difference. "The ball is flying into the gaps," Yost said before the season. "He's stinging the ball. He's hitting the ball so much harder than he did in the past." Getz has also been typically solid in the field. 80 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2012 this year, I saw no way for Chris Getz to make this team. No way. But when you start to watch him take batting practice, you think, 'Wow, this is dif- ferent.' "Then you watch him in the games, and he's hitting balls much crisper and much harder. I doubt Chris Getz had four home runs all last year in batting practice. He's now hitting the ball out of the park." He's doing it by letting his hands do the work, Getz said. "It's a more aggressive path to- ward the ball," he said. "There's still work to be done with it, but I think it gives me a lot more upside. "This year, I knew I had to do cer- tain things to overcome those ob- Manny Harris, who had been out- standing for Canton in the NBA De- velopment League, signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Cleveland Cavaliers before being brought back full-time. Harris, who played 54 games with Former Michigan standout wing MANNY HARRIS SIGNED TO FINISH THE SEASON IN CLEVELAND the Cavs a year ago, was initially waived prior to the season after suf- fering a freak, preseason foot injury. Harris averaged 21.4 points and 7.9 rebounds in 17 NBDL game, and was averaging 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game in 19 NBA games (through April 16), having started two games. Harris' best game came March 21,

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